Wednesday, 29 December 2010


spent christmas in france with friends at imprints but spent 2 days in lyon before and as ever when in a new space i checked out the visitor offering – some recommendations – a little out of town but set in its own grounds with a great car park! is the lyon museum of contemporary art which had 2 fabulous shows - bruce nauman and trisha brown – a wonderful piece of programming enabling the reviewing of both bodies of work. also within the building was work that i only seem to see exhibited in regional galleries on the continent – work of huge scale in huge spaces which seem implausible – giant blocks of ice melting in the gallery, massive (20 m x 5m) colour field paintings and action installations the size of a building. tricky to find but worth it the Institute d'art contemporain housed in an old school - it seeks to show work that challenges the notion of what art is a trek stuck way out within the suburbs but worth it for the work of Vincent Lamouroux who had rebuilt his space and Francois Curlet’s wallpaper based on rorschach blots. while not eating tete du veal or boudin noir with apples and mashed potato closer in town was the wonderful lyon museum of religious art which had a temporary exhibition of pieces from the Urals - an incredible collection of statues in polychrome wood but the standout ‘exhibit’ was the fourvier basilica – i was taken with the stone work on the outside. i also have to mention the quite bizarre museum of the miniature which is as it says a museum of miniature stuff – the choice to recreate in miniature spaces not usually celebrated – stairwells, hotel corridors and the bottom of a swimming pool made it quite wondrous - there was a feeling that somebody had read Bachelard's The Poetics of Space or Perec's Species of Spaces and then there was the usual city images for the collection – covered shop fronts, interesting use of fabric in building work and then there was cheese.

Friday, 17 December 2010


helping a friend dig underneath his house in an attempt at underpinning we came across a collection of shoes 3m down. preserved in the mud infill they were underneath a house that is over 100 years old – the stitching had perished but the punched holes and traces of stitching remain – quite a find.
meanwhile i am looking at my work with a view to exhibiting at University College Suffolk who are organising an exhibition with past and present teaching staff. i worked at what was Suffolk Art College at the wonderful High Street purpose build space when i first moved to Suffolk. initially working on the foundation course, making books and printing and then with Michael Lumb on the first cohort of the modular fine art course – focusing on site specific work before it was fashionable. At present it houses an exhibition from the Saatchi collection.

Thursday, 16 December 2010


another day of timetabling at nuca – a momentary glance at the wall of the textiles print room led me to the dye splatter where the screens are washed – and a thought about the recent visit to John Lathams flattime house and the conversation around the ‘one second drawings’ – the spray-gun paintings that dealt with temporality and the idea of the ‘least event’- the idea of a moment of existence - the shortest departure from a state of nothingness – a small moment but one that creates an infinitely complex image. well it took me away from excel spread sheets for what seemed a lifetime.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


A wonderful day in London with the ma book art course students – first stop the british library to see their latest show – Evolving English – - a truly superb show that explores the roots of the english language and its development. I chose to focus on 3 ideas - The physicality of the letter forms - the use of different type fonts and how the characteristics of the letters communicate the content of the words. How a language is centrally controlled - how to translate a sound into a word which in turn is to be used as a set of rules. How the past can inform the present - there are many examples within the show when the printed matter from the past enables us to reflect on the present. After lunch we visited St John Soane's museum and the Hunterian museum - the purpose of the afternoon was to visit two very different exhibition spaces - to compare and contrast. the students were asked to consider – the idea of the collection – to ask what are the narratives that are presented? the role and look of the labels – what do they communicate? the display of the objects – how are they presented and what systems are used?

Thursday, 9 December 2010


gave a new lecture on the city and its relationship to textiles today – the presentation explores two strands – the concept of the line (thread) as a conduit and the cover (sheet) as a device for shelter, intertwined with the idea of the role of textiles in building what makes a city from a theoretical linear time-based perspective. all this as ever derived from photos taken abroad.

Friday, 3 December 2010


battling through the snow this week has been tricky but worth it for the interesting work i have been involved with – NUCA has seen 2 days of assessments – some very exciting year 3 work on the BA textiles illustrating real potential for innovation with process and skill to the fore.
meanwhile at Camberwell the first crit of the year - for me it was wonderful to see some good solid thinking with ideas embedded within. in the afternoon we visited the flat time house – the base for the john latham foundation – a truly thrilling space full of rigorous thinking and possibilities. the 'conversation pieces are a joy and something familiar in terms of my understanding of the potential and space of the book but i was particularly taken with a table of ‘off cuts’– altered books, or pieces of books found after johns death laid out on a wooden table – somehow they had the quality of ancient objects – known but unknown, something to be deciphered.